Unsupportive Husband in Pregnancy: Why and What to Do

Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and if you have a husband not being supportive, it can be even more stressful. You worry about you and your baby’s health. You ponder if you want to continue working after you have the baby. Weight gain, getting the nursery ready, so many things, and if your partner is unsupportive, it makes all these burdens that much harder. This article will outline how having an unsupportive partner can affect pregnancy, reasons why this might happen, and tips for dealing with this.

Possible Reasons of a Husband Not Supportive During Pregnancy

Studies show that if a husband is not supportive, the incidence of postpartum depression in new moms tends to be higher. In early pregnancy, it may even cause complications. In pregnancies lacking a supportive partner, there is higher cases of premature delivery and low-birth weight babies.

First, we need to look at some of the reasons why your partner may be apprehensive about your pregnancy. Then we can take a look at a few solutions to help. These are some things that cause men to be unsupportive of pregnancy:

  1. Unplanned Pregnancy

If you were not planning to have a baby, your husband or partner may be in shock over the unexpected news. If it is early in your pregnancy, your husband may need time to grasp what is happening. He may be trying to figure out how to make things work with a baby in your life, and thinking the same things you are.

  1. He May Not Be Ready

You may have been using birth control and it failed, or you might have gotten pregnant against your husband's wishes. Often, women may try to have a baby to bring positive change to a marriage that is failing. This can often have even more negative implications on the relationship if your partner was not ready, or did not think it was a good time for you to have a baby. 

  1. Fear of Responsibility

Having a baby is a big responsibility for both of you as parents. You may think nothing of it, but he may be fearful that he may not be able to provide or care for a child. This baby will take both of you 24/7 working hard to make sure he or she is; fed, clothed, bathed, played with, and safe. Fathers take on the role of protector of the family and maybe your husband is having issues taking on the responsibility of a totally dependent human being. 

  1. He Had a Difficult Childhood

Was your husband abused or neglected as a child? People who have a hard childhood and suffer from childhood abuse often have to process memories of these times as they face parenthood.

  1. He Doesn’t Want to Share You

Your new baby, especially if you breastfeed, will take up a lot of your time. They will need almost constant attention unless they are sleeping. Your partner may not be ready to share you and your time with someone else.

  1. Loss of Himself

Your husband may be a little sad about losing himself, and becoming a father. If he is very social and enjoys time to himself, he may be dealing with the fact that another person is joining your lives. This means taking baby places, less nights “out,” and very little “me” time in the near future. You may find your husband not supportive during pregnancy, and going out more often with friends, but once the baby is born he turns around and stays home more.

  1. Lack of Role Models

Your partner may be worried he won’t know “how to be a dad.” This often stems from lack of male role models showing him what to do. He may be thinking he will fail at fatherhood or not be good enough for the child.

  1. Lack of Sex

If you are suffering from early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, poor body image, or spotting, you may not be having as much sex as he is used to. This may be making him cranky. He may be worried this is going to continue through the entire pregnancy.

  1. He May Not Know What To Expect

If this is your first baby, he may just not understand it. He may be wondering about symptoms, how to watch you for complications, and what delivery is going to be like. While there are many movies and TV shows that may show pregnancy and childbirth in the plot, many are either overdramatized and scary, or don’t give enough “real life” information on how things really are. He may just not know what to think of all of this.

Smart Ways To Deal With This

You may be feeling needy right now, but if you find your husband not supportive during pregnancy, it may be time to turn the tables. You will need to reassure, educate, and give him time to process. Here are some things you can try: 

1. Give Him Time

If it is still early on, give him time to process things. He may be trying to figure out how to support a family, child care, and fit your relationship into all of this. It may not take long for him to get a grip on things.

2. Buy Him a Book

He may just need to know more about pregnancy and childbirth in general. Search for a book online or in bookstores geared towards educating new dads about the stages of pregnancy and what to expect.

3. Get Counseling

If the pregnancy was an attempt to save your marriage, and it’s not working, now is the time to get some counseling. You have a baby on the way. You both are going to need to be on the same page, and communicating effectively to raise this baby. 

4. Tell Him Your Feelings

He can’t read your mind. If he is distant, he may not know that you need extra attention and support right now. Speak up in a kind and calm manner. He may need to voice his feelings to you too.

5. Find a New Intimacy

If your sex life has gone downhill lately, find new ways to be intimate with each other. You both need that closeness right now. If you are uncomfortable during sex, try some new positions. Take a bubble bath or shower together. Maybe even just cuddle and watch movies. Don’t be afraid to try new things to satisfy the need for close touch.